Happy This Week

Today is my birthday! I’m so happy to see another year!

It it is absolutely gorgeous in Ohio today!

i got to walk with my BFF today and another of my besties stopped by for a visit.

My ┬áblogging friend, Rudri, sent me a beautiful necklace with the word “courage” on it. I love it.

Dinners made with love from friends arrived on my doorstep!

Two of my students surprised me on Wednesday with a homemade candy card (why aren’t you following me on Instagram already? @elastamom417), balloons, doughnuts and gifts. They are so sweet to me!

My colleagues wore their t-shirts for me on Wednesday. It definitely raises my spirits!

I had a fun text conversation with one of my friends about baby names! I love babies.

my sister took me to chemo this week. It was nice to sit and chat and catch up.

What made you happy this week?

Happy This Week

New clothes and new shoes! I needed comfy clothes with v-necks for chemo and was able to find some things that double as work clothes. I got three pairs of new shoes from Payless that I can’t wait to wear in warmer weather. I just love having new things to wear.

I finished Gilmore Girls. It is one of my favorite shows of all time. I cried like a baby at the finale. Sobbed! Don’t judge me, but I may start over and watch it again. (I am in bed a lot!)

Having so many people in my life that I can count on for love and support. I can’t imagine doing this without them!

My BFF, Amy, took me to chemo last week. I was nervous about not going with Matt but it was fine. Amy took good care of me and we laughed and laughed. The time passed quickly and she made it fun! Another of my BFFs, Sherri, took me this week. At one point we were laughing so hard she looked at me and asked “Is it ok that we’re laughing? Should we be sad?” which made us laugh even harder! It was so fun to catch up and hang out for the day…even at chemo!

All of my test results look good so far on chemo. My levels are low but where they’re expected to be so that’s good news!

I’m 1/3 of the way done with my tough chemo sessions! 8 more to go!

One of my most favorite students of all time will post “I love you, Mom!” on my pictures on Instagram and stuff and it makes my heart so happy. I really miss my students when they leave me!

Two of my girls came to me for friendship advice this week. It’s nice to know I’m still connecting with them in that way and they feel comfortable coming to me.

One of my students legitimately thought I was in my 20s. That made my day!!! He didn’t realize I had a 14-year-old!! :) I said something about how I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years and he was all confused…then I told him I’ll be 39 next week and he was shocked. I guess he hasn’t looked at my face really closely and seen all the wrinkles! Or taken a close look at my veiny hands!!!

My students have been very good for the sub when I’m out. It makes it so much easier on me!

We are getting a new principal next year and that is always a little scary. We found out who it’s going to be this week and he seems like he’ll be great. Fingers crossed!

This week’s been a really rough week and look at all that happy! Some weeks you just have to look a little harder, right?

What made you happy this week?

Cancer Chronicles VI: Being Deliberate

Chemo is rough, you guys. Really rough. I get completely overwhelmed thinking I have 9 more to go of the really bad ones. It will be summer before I’m done. So I take them one at a time.

But it’s rough.

I feel like crap pretty much all week. Sometimes I rally on Tuesdays and Wednesdays but not this week. I can’t even get out of bed on Saturdays. My bones hurt. My eyelashes hurt. I just want someone to constantly rub my back and give me Tylenol. I hate eating. I hate drinking. Everything makes my stomach hurt and I have a horrid taste in my mouth. I can’t drink coffee it tastes so bad. (And you know how much I love coffee!) I either feel like I’m going to throw up or I have diarrhea all the time. I know that’s TMI, but it is what it is. My nose hair is gone so my nose drips constantly. I’m so glad I shaved my head because my hair is coming out in patches. I have tinnitus that comes and goes and my eyesight has gotten worse. I have to wear my glasses all the time now. And I’m so tired. Tired like I’ve never been before. I’ve been managing to exercise five times a week but not like I used to. I’ve been sticking to walking and riding the bike. At least it’s something, right? I’m just so tired.

I’ve been keeping up with work pretty well. Mondays are pretty rough for me so I’ve been trying to make them “easier” teaching days, if there is such a thing. I typically never sit down at school but I’ve been trying to rest more throughout the day so I can make it through.

Emotionally I have good days and bad days. This week has been mostly bad days. I’m just pissed. I hate this. I hate the whole thing. I want it to be over and when I think that I have 11 more months to go, I just want to fall apart. So I take it one day at a time. One chemo at a time. One treatment schedule at a time. And I try and remember that, thank GOD, at the end of all of this, I will more than likely be ok. I’ll be “cured”. And that’s the goal.

But it’s really difficult.

One thing I’ve been focusing on that’s been helping me is being deliberate. Let me explain. My first Monday going back to work after my first chemo treatment, I felt just awful. I was up all night (Did I mention I don’t sleep well either?)and my stomach hurt and I was still exhausted. But I honestly felt like if I didn’t go that Monday, the first Monday, when I felt like shit and didn’t think I could do it, that I would never go back. Does that make sense? Like I just needed to go, and survive it, and do it and be strong and then I’d be ok. And I did. I came home and slept for three hours, but I did it. And last Monday too. Deliberate.

I was on Spring Break last week and the kids and Matt were not. So I had Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to myself while they were at school. What I really wanted to do was just stay in bed all day and hide under the covers, but, again, I felt like if I did that I’d never get out. So Monday I made myself put makeup and clothes on and go see a movie. Even though I felt like crap. And Tuesday I took the kids lunch and went for a walk at the park. Even though I didn’t want to. And Wednesday I felt great, finally, and went shopping and out to lunch and got a pedicure with a friend. Deliberate. I’m making sure that every day there’s a reason to get out of bed, to go on with life even though I feel like quitting and just giving in. I really still can’t believe that the whole world isn’t stopping for the next year with me. Do you know that feeling? When something tremendous happens and you feel like the world should just stop? But it doesn’t. And I just can’t quit. So I don’t. But being deliberate is tough. But I guess I’m pretty tough, huh?

Here are things that get me out of bed each morning. That help me be deliberate. That help me to keep going strong.

My family. My students. Teenagers get a bad rap. They are the sweetest, kindest, most loving kids in the world. I’m so, so thankful for my job and my students and my coworkers. They make going to work so much better. Texts from friends. Cards in the mail. Treats and gifts in the mail and left on my front porch. Dinners delivered. Seeing people in my t-shirts. Walks and bike rides with a friend or by myself. Netflix. Good books. Movies. Laying on the couch with Matt. Online shopping. New clothes. A new hat. Werther’s butterscotches.

And the one thing that helps me going the most? The love I feel from everyone in my life. I couldn’t, truly couldn’t, do this without it.

From my friend, Kelley, on a day when I really needed it.

All you need is love, right?

Chemo Reads

book quote

Some days I’m too tired to read and that’s when I catch up on my shows or binge on Gilmore Girls. But most days I’m still able to read and for that, I’m thankful. Here’s the list of what I’ve read lately. (P.S. It’s long…)

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood

Zoe and her friend, Heidi, are graduate students set on partying in Vegas after working so hard. On their way home to California, they stop at a bar to live it up. Only Zoe ever returns to California. Years later, Zoe is in a funk. She didn’t finish grad school, she’s alienated her family and she’s working as a mall cop and she’s miserable. When a women is murdered in her town, and the signs all point to the same man she escaped from, Zoe is determined to find him and be rid of him once and for all.

This book was fantastic. Creepy, suspenseful and exciting. If you like murder mysteries, check it out.

Wreckage by Emily Bleeker

This book was worth the time. Very different from anything I’ve ever read. I guess you could say it’s a love story entwined with a survival story. Lillian is a stay-at-home Mom whose mother-in-law has invited her on a tropical vacation that she won from a yogurt company. Lillian is happy to get away from life for a while and enjoy the sun. The first week of the vacation goes off without a hitch, but when they set off for their second week on a private island, their plane crashes. Also on the plane are the pilot, a blockhead macho jerk, the stewardess, who happens to be the pilot’s former love, and Dave the yogurt company rep. After the crash, the survivors are stranded on a deserted island. It is a great story of survival and true love. I can’t tell you anything else without giving too much away. My sister loved it too. Go read it!

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book was on a Pinterest list of YA novels not to miss. It is a phenomenal book. In fact, I think it should be required reading for all high schoolers. The material may be too intense for younger readers, but it depends on the reader, I guess. Melinda is a well-liked, popular 8th grade girl enjoying her summer before high school. She and her friends attend a high school party right before schools starts and Melinda is raped. Melinda quickly turns from a bubbly, energetic 14-year-old into a mute, very depressed high schooler. Melinda loses her friends because they think she called the cops to tell them about the party. Melinda doesn’t tell anyone what happened and it eats her alive. She finds solace in her art class and spends the whole year in silence trying to feel better. She realizes that she’s not going to be able to get through this alone but she’s too afraid to…speak.

This was a very powerful story of date rape, depression, suicidal thoughts and how one teacher can make a difference. I just loved it even though it was difficult material. There’s also a full-length movie starring Kristen Stewart (who is really good because she doesn’t speak…hahaha…) on YouTube that was fantastic.

Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman
My friends, Jen and Stephanie, got me a two-month membership to Librify before I started chemo. I get one book a month and this was the one I chose. It was great. I love a good murder mystery! Two little 11-year-old girls, Alice and Ronnie, are on their way home from a disastrous pool party when they discover a baby on the porch in the stroller. They decide she’s been abandoned and take her from the house. The baby is found dead a few days later and the girls are accused and convicted of murder. The story picks up seven years later when the girls are released from prison. Toddler girls are going missing and the connection between these disappearances and the girls’ release can’t be ignored. This book was awesome. Twists and turns and great character development.

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

If you’re a Jennifer Weiner fan, you’ll love this book. I had only read a couple of her books before but really enjoyed this one. It’s not earth shattering or anything, but it’s a quick, fun, enjoyable read. This story follows Cannie Shapiro 13 years after her best-selling hot romance novel took the world by storm. She is now the mother of 13-year-old Joy and struggling through being a mom and a wife. Joy is struggling with the fact that her mother wrote a steamy romance novel and may never have wanted Joy in the first place. It’s a good, when-you-have-lots-of-time-to-read book.

You’ll Never Nanny In This Town Again by Suzanne Hansen

If you know me, you know I love anything pop culture related. I loved the Nanny Diaries and thought this one, with true tales from a Hollywood nanny, would also be a fun read. It did not disappoint. The author, a former Hollywood nanny, never really nannied for anyone super famous but did nanny for a major Hollywood executive and Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. She also had friends who nannied for Sally Fields and a few other stars and their anecdotes are in here as well. If you like having a glimpse into the lives of the rich and sometimes famous, then you’ll enjoy this book.

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott

When I went to write this, I couldn’t remember what it was about. Then I looked on Amazon for the cover and went “Oh. Yeah. *Sigh*.” This was a heavy and sad book but very well-written. It follows two teenage best friends, Lizzie and Evie, in the summer as they swim and ride bikes and enjoy life. Until Lizzie goes missing. Evie is devastated and determined to figure out what happened to her best friend. The end is messy and upsetting but very real. I don’t necessarily need a happy ending as long as the ending is good. If you can handle a dark book right now, this thriller doesn’t disappoint.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I have been hearing non-stop about this book. Many compared it to Gone Girl and said it was a must-read. When my friend, Vicki, brought me a chemo care package, this book was in it so I decided it must be book fate. This was a great and exciting thriller. It is set in England, which I always love. I really want to visit England some day and books set there make me feel like I’ve visited for a while. I enjoy books told from different perspectives. This one is told from three different perspectives: Rachel, a down-on-her-luck alcoholic who’s obsessed with her ex-husband; Megan (aka Jess) who lives next door to Rachel’s ex-husband and who Rachel semi-stalks from the train; Anna who is the new wife of Rachel’s ex. Rachel loves to watch (a little creepily) Jess and her husband while she rides past their house daily on the train. When Jess goes missing, Rachel is obsessed with helping and winds up in the middle of a big mess. (That’s an understatement.) It’s a fast-paced thrillers that keeps you guessing. I loved it.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

I could write a poem about how much I love Jodi and her writing. If I could have just a tenth of her talent, I’d be so happy. I don’t know how she does it book after book. She writes with such ease, her characters are so perfect, she tells the story from different perspectives seamlessly and writes about interesting and fascinating topics. You fall in love with the characters, with the story, with her writing, so that, when you’re finished, you have to take some time to deal with your book grief. Does anyone else feel this way about her? She’s amazing to me.

Leaving Time follows Jenna, a 13-year-old who lives with her grandmother. Jenna’s mother disappeared when she was three and her father is in a mental hospital. Both of her parents were elephant researchers who ran an elephant sanctuary at the time of her mother’s disappearance. On the night her mother disappeared, another woman was trampled by an elephant at the sanctuary. No one really knows what happened. Shoddy police work and an indifference to what actually happened have left this case unsolved. Jenna is determined to find her mother once and for all. She enlists the help of an alcoholic, down-on-his-luck police detective, Virgil, who was on the case 10 years ago. She also enlists the help of a once-famous psychic, Serenity, to help her find clues to finding her mother.

Picoult weaves all of this in with the amazing story of elephants. I didn’t know much about elephants but, now that I do, I feel the need to save them all. I absolutely loved learning all about elephants, especially in their role as mothers. It was fascinating. This story is truly, at its heart, the story of motherly love and how much that love impacts our lives. Please go read this book and then come back and talk to me about it. I’m still mourning that it’s over. It’s one of those that sticks with you.

Oh and when you’re finished, you’ll probably want to find a real psychic too. Or is that just me?

What have you read lately?

Happy This Week

Chemo #3 done! Another one bites the dust!

Pizza and pedicure with my friend, Ashley. It was so relaxing and fun! I got lime green polish with sparkles! Ready for flip flops!

Shopping and lunch with my BFF, Amy. We had an amazing lunch and I found some clothes and they were all 40% off! I also found three pairs of shoes at Payless!!

My BFF took me to chemo today. It was fun to chat on the way there and while we were waiting and then feel comfortable enough to sleep and not have to entertain during treatment. I’m so sleepy during treatment and after! She’s the best!!

My Mom gave me an early birthday present…a new TV for my room! She spent last Saturday taking care of me and watched me watch Gilmore Girls on my tiny TV (I think it was 19 inches). So she bought me a 32 inch TV!! It’s AWESOME!!! Makes the rough post-chemo days much better!

Gilmore Girls…man I love that show. So sweet and witty and loving and funny. I’m almost finished with the series. I’m excited to see how it turns out but I don’t want it to be over!

I was on spring break this week. It was nice to not have to worry about school and do little fun things.

I went and saw Insurgent all by myself on Monday and had the whole theater to myself. It was a great movie too…and I got popcorn!

I just love seeing my people wearing my cancer t-shirts. Makes me feel loved and like I CAN DO THIS.

Pink’s new album You+Me is amazing. Amazing. Love it.

It was semi-warm this week! It was so nice to see the sun and open a window. Of course tomorrow it’s going to snow…

I was able to have lunch with the kids at school this week. Gabe ignored me but the other two were excited to see me!!! :)

What made you happy this week???

A Love Story

love

I’ve never really liked love stories. I tolerate them if they’re ensconced in an otherwise really good murder mystery, but I avoid them on their own. I’ve never been a fan of cheesy Hallmark or Lifetime movies about love. I like romantic comedies, but not as much as other genres. I read and enjoyed Twilight but thought the love story was a little much. I just never felt like the stories were real. They never felt like a genuine love story to me. Growing up, I didn’t have any shining examples of love either. My parents hated each other, my one set of grandparents hated each other too and I just didn’t see any great examples of love stories in my circle. I guess everything in books and movies just felt fake and I knew, even at a young age, that that was not what true love was really like. I knew it wasn’t peaches and cream complexions and sweet sentiments all day long.

But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d be one of the stars in a great love story of my own.

Real Love Quotes For Her

I will say this until the day I die, but I’m not sure what I did to deserve Matt. I am so thankful for him and our life together. We definitely aren’t a “peaches and cream” love story, but I will tell you we’re real. We fight, we have days where we don’t like each other very much, we get impatient with each other, we get annoyed by each other. But through it all, we love each other. Deeply.

Not very many marriages have to weather as many storms as we have in our almost-20-years together. We were so young when we got married. We had a miscarriage. We had a daughter born with severe and rare special needs. We had a son 13 short months later. We had major health scares with our youngest son. We’ve been laid off. We’ve been without work. We’ve been scraping by. I’ve had depression and, now, cancer. We’ve been through a lot and, thank God, we always come out stronger and more in love, even when that didn’t seem possible.

It’s crazy to me. I don’t know how I ended up in this great love story, but I’m so very glad I did. Matt has been, of course, amazing through all of this cancer business. He holds me when I’m having a breakdown, he brings me things to cheer me up, he rubs my aching bones, he brings me medicine, he helps even more around the house, he does absolutely everything he can and then some. I couldn’t ask for more. Even when you’re sure you married the right person, you’re not sure until you see how everyone holds up under difficult circumstances. We’ve held up better than I could have imagined, thank God.

I am so very thankful that he let me borrow that sweatshirt 20 years ago and asked me to be his wife. Our marriage is the thing I’m most proud of in my life. I couldn’t love him more. It’s hard to put into words, but I hope I’ve paid tribute to the greatest person I’ve ever known. I hope.

love 2

Olivia School Update

We almost have an IEP folks!!! A couple more weeks (hopefully) and we’ll have Olivia’s IEP signed, sealed, delivered. Due to inclement weather canceling some of our meetings, and us wanting to change her whole plan for schooling, this IEP has taken for-ev-er. But it will be worth it when it’s finalized and done.

Things are going so much better for Olivia. Yahoo! It only took until around third quarter for her to settle in…hahaha!! We decided to get Olivia tested and diagnosed with Autism. She will have a dual diagnosis of Cri du Chat and Autism. It’s been a long road to get to this point but we feel it’s necessary and what’s best for Olivia. We are SO over labels! Because of this, and because of the changes we wanted to see in her school day, our IEP team did a slew of tests on her and the results definitely work in our favor.

Based on our input, and the results of all of the testing, the team has decided that Olivia needs to be more independent. She isn’t engaged in her environment and depends on adults for most everything. (I’m majorly paraphrasing here.) The caveat is that, in order to become more independent, she needs additional help. Isn’t that ironic? But it’s true. In order to get her to be less dependent on adults, and more engaged on her own, she needs more adult help. So that’s what we’re working on.

Another major difference is she took a lot longer to transition this year than she has in the past. So we’re asking for extended year services. It looks like we will have some sort of “summer school” options for Olivia that will help her to not regress and transition better.

She’s taking foreign language and absolutely loves it, just like we knew she would. Her Spanish name was Josefina and her French name is Jaqueline. She gets a little overwhelmed by the pace of the class, but she’s participating and enjoying it. She’s even taken a few oral tests and passed with flying colors. Her Spanish teacher was so good with her. Olivia just loved her.

Another of her major goals is her social goal. She has no social life. None. Except, again, for adults and her brothers. We are working on getting her more involved in social aspects of school and helping her make friends. Real friends. Who want to do stuff with her and hang out with her and have fun with her. This is the goal nearest and dearest to my heart. I just want her to have friends. True friends. Who love her for who she is and who want to be with her.

Her “official” Autism diagnosis should be official soon. Her IEP should be finalized soon with plans for the summer as well. She is much happier at school and enjoying her day. She will soon be spending more time in regular classes and, hopefully, making friends. Things are looking up for Olivia!!

Thankful

I know it probably seems counterintuitive that, over the last few weeks, the only word I can think of to describe my life is…thankful. Yes, I have cancer. Yes, I’m in the midst of chemo. Yes, it sucks.

But I am so freaking thankful.

Do you ever think of how you say “I love you” and “I’m glad you’re my friend” and those super important sentiments, but sometimes you forget to tell people how thankful you are for them? So, so thankful.

Thankful for…

A husband who is my rock.

Kids who take care of me and check on me and make me toast.

A mom who spends the day taking care of Olivia and me and rubs my back for as long as I need it. And takes the kids at the drop of a hat.

A mother-in-law who folds laundry every week, helps with the kids when we need it.

Friends who text me every day just to check in.

Friends, so many friends, who do so many wonderful things. They text or call to see if I need anything. They’re going to the store, is there anything they can pick up? They’re at the library, do I need a book? Do kids need rides? Do kids need playdates? They bring food, treats, surprises. They buy t-shirts and wear them to support me. So many wonderful things.

Coworkers who donated money, who bought t-shirts, who painted and decorated my room, who stop by just to check-in and say hello.

Good days where I can go for a walk, have coffee with a friend, take the kids lunch, go shopping. (And then crash.)

Spring break where, for a week, I don’t have to worry about keeping up with lesson plans and substitute plans and grading papers and all that. Even though I love my job, it’s nice to have a week off.

Walks in the woods where you see a mass of deer and they let you stop and watch them for a while.

Having a cancer that will be gone. I’ll be alive and well after all of this is over. Hallelujah!

There are so many things to be truly thankful for…and I’m so glad I can take the time to notice and appreciate them all.

Happy This Week

I made it through my 2nd chemo. Last week Saturday and Sunday were my worst days, so I’m guessing the next two days will be rough. But 2 down, 10 rough ones to go!!

My school sold “jeans passes” for me in the month of February and raised a crazy amount of money for us. It is so overwhelming and humbling to have all of this crazy love and support.

We went out for a nice dinner last Sunday for Gabe’s 13th birthday. He was so excited and thankful and it was nice going out just the five of us.

Gabe turned 13 on Tuesday!!! I can’t believe he’s 13. I have two teenagers!!! We had a small family party on Sunday and he’s having some buddies over for a sleepover over spring break next week. I did get to take him shopping, just him and I, for his birthday. That was a treat!

Gabe stayed home on Tuesday. He texted me at lunch to ask if he could have Sprite with lunch. He is so my son! Isn’t that the cutest?

The boys shaved my head on Sunday. My hair has already started falling out and I wanted to get a jump on it so I didn’t have clumps coming out in the morning before school. I’m so glad I did!! The boys thought it was great and I’m glad it won’t be such a shock when it falls out completely.

I’m rockin’ the hats this week!!!

Olivia had something weird in her braces the other night when we were brushing her teeth. We finally got it out and asked Olivia what it was (we couldn’t tell). She said, “Oh! That’s glue. I ate some in class today.” She keeps us all on our toes!!! (And she says glue like “gaaa-looo” which is so cute.)

We saw a dog on top of a roof the other day (who the hell knows why) and Matthew piped up with “Oh! I wonder if they’re from Mexico!” and we were all baffled as to why on earth he would say that. He told us then that his Grandma had read him a story about dogs on roofs in Mexico!!! We were laughing so hard.

Matt and I had one of those laughing fits in bed the other night where you just can’t catch your breath or stop laughing. I love those. Especially now.

What made you happy this week?

Cancer Chronicles V: Whirlwind

When I think back to the innocuous day in January, (was it only two months ago??) when I innocently went to my yearly check-up with my OB/GYN, and left with a newly found lump in my breast that was almost guaranteed to be nothing, to now, where I sit with a deformed breast still healing from surgery, a surgically implanted port that hurts like hell to help me get through 26 chemo treatments and at least as many blood draws, I almost can’t believe my life. How did this happen? How will I get through this? Why hasn’t the world stopped turning?

Waiting for results was horrible. Waiting for surgery was awful. Recovering from surgery was painful. Waiting for results from surgery was excruciating. Waiting to hear what my treatment plan would be was terrible. Hearing my treatment plan was a punch in the gut. Waiting for my first chemo treatment and port surgery was horrendous. Waiting to see how I would feel after chemo was brutal. Recovering from my chemo treatment was no fun and realizing I have to do it all again in three days and 11 more times this round kind of makes me want to crawl in a hole and stay there until March 2016.

And that’s just me. Matt has been to hell and back and it’s not even close to being over. I can’t imagine what it’s like for him because I would be a mess if he were going through this. We both keep saying we’re so very thankful that it’s not one of the kids. The kids are worried but doing OK. Kids are so resilient, aren’t they? The guilt I feel is overwhelming although I’m getting used to it and getting better about letting it go. I have to. I have to be selfish right now. This may be the hardest part over the next year…being selfish and taking care of me first. Because I have to. I have to rest when I need to, I have to bow out of obligations when I must, I have to do whatever I can to make myself feel better in every way that I can. It’s not easy after a lifetime of always putting others first.

My first chemo treatment went well. I was surprised at how bad my port hurts right now. Thank goodness my friend warned me or else I would have been worried. It gets better each day, thankfully. I slept through most of my first treatment which was nice. I was still a little loopy from my surgery in the morning and then they give you a pre-chemo cocktail that makes you really drowsy. Probably helps with the nerves too. I’ve been so very tired, nauseous, have a terrible taste in my mouth and in some pain. But I’m hanging in there. I’m going to work today and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not sure how I’m going to keep up with everything for work but I’m just going to do my best. That’s all I can do, right?

To say it’s been a whirlwind is an understatement. Our whole lives have been completely turned upside down. But we are making it work, we are managing and we are doing it one day at a time. The best part? We are so overwhelmed, in a good way, with love and support. That has been the best silver lining of all.